Overnight Energy: Most Americans in poll support ditching plastic straws | Calif. gov pitches easing logging regs to fight fires | Interior Dept. eyes plan to move more water to Calif. farmers

Overnight Energy: Most Americans in poll support ditching plastic straws | Calif. gov pitches easing logging regs to fight fires | Interior Dept. eyes plan to move more water to Calif. farmers

POLL FINDS SUPPORT FOR DITCHING PLASTIC STRAWS: Most Americans support a recent push to cut back on the use of plastic straws, though a smaller percentage support an outright ban, according to a new poll.

Nearly 80 percent of respondents in a survey from BuzzFeed News and market research firm Ipsos said they strongly or somewhat support companies shifting toward biodegradable straws, while nearly as many — 75 percent — supported businesses only providing plastic straws when asked.

The straws are a source of plastic pollution that often clogs waterways and harms wildlife.


The online poll, which surveyed 2,000 adults nationwide Aug. 14-16, found, however, that respondents were less supportive of government intervention on straw use.

Some 48 percent said they supported local bans on plastic straws, including 56 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of Republicans, compared to 42 percent overall who oppose one.

Read more here and see the poll.

Happy Friday! Welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news. Please send tips and comments to Timothy Cama, tcama@thehill.com, and Miranda Green, mgreen@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Timothy_Cama, @mirandacgreen, @thehill.

CALIFORNIA GOV CONSIDERS EASING LOGGING RULES TO FIGHT FOREST FIRES: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is proposing sweeping new legislation that would make it easier for private landowners to cut down trees on their land as the state deals with one of its worst wildfire seasons in years.

Brown's plan, which was first reported by the Mercury News on Thursday, would allow landowners living on property of 300 acres or less to cut down trees up to 36-inches wide without a permit. The current regulation ends at 26 inches in diameter.

Additionally, owners would be able to build private roads up to 600 feet long without first getting a permit as long as the roads are maintained.


The idea is to let landowners help thin forests to decrease the spread of fires. Brown's proposal follows Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeEurope deepens energy dependence on Russia Overnight Energy: House Science Committee hits EPA with subpoenas | California sues EPA over Trump revoking emissions waiver | Interior disbands board that floated privatization at national parks Interior disbands advisory board that floated privatization at national parks MORE and Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOvernight Health Care: Trump reportedly lashed out at health chief over polling | Justices to hear ObamaCare birth control case | Trump rolls back Michelle Obama school lunch rules Trump to roll back Michelle Obama's school lunch rules on vegetables, fruits Cities, states sue over planned Trump cuts to food stamps MORE's visit to the state last week, where both Cabinet members pushed increased forest management as a way to hinder future fires.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE also backed the need for logging and forest management in a tweet, saying, "Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!"

Read more here.

And in other California news…

Trump officials push new water deal to help farmers: The Interior Department’s Bureau of Reclamation sent a notice to Golden State officials in mid-August that it will be renegotiating a major water project that moves water through the state’s Delta, the Sacramento Bee first reported.

The move is likely to increase tensions over the already controversial topic of whether water should be moved directly to the sea or diverted to areas of agriculture in the state’s Central Valley.

As a candidate, Trump made a campaign stop in the Central Valley and promised farmers that he would support more damn construction and water diversion to help the industry.

Environmentalists are largely opposed to the idea because it leaves less water for the State Water Project.

Earlier in the week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered the agency to develop an “action plan” to send more water to Northern California’s San Joaquin Valley.

“The time for action is now,” he wrote, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The move is likely to stir up conflict between environmentalists and state officials.

California gears up to be first state to ban plastic straws: California Lawmakers voted Thursday to pass a statewide single use plastic straw ban at restaurants, BuzzFeed News reported. The bill, which has yet to be signed into state law by Gov. Jerry Brown, would restrict full service restaurants from giving customers straws unless they are asked for.


The House remains out of session next week and the Senate is looking to tackle a more mellow schedule. The Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard will hold a hearing Tuesday looking into the growing threat of toxic algae blooms in U.S. waterways and coasts. Beaches off Florida’s Gulf Coast are currently being hit the hardest from the phenomenon, which leads to the death of fish and creates dangerous conditions for humans.


The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday will consider a handful of bills including one on the management of driftnet fishing, and a bill to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to allow Alaska Natives to deal in traditional mammoth ivory products.


Texas remains number one state in wind energy production

Climate change is melting the French Alps, mountaineers say

The maker of the AK-47 wants to sell electric cars


Check out stories from Friday…

– Poll: Americans support moving away from plastic straws, less sure of ban

– California's Jerry Brown considers easing logging rules to help fight fires

– Protesters interrupt DNC meeting after ban on fossil fuel money reversed